Christmas was always good, although we spent many of my young years moving about, transient, if you were, following oil camps. Still, my mother did so well on the one income, and managed to give us a good Christmas. I suppose we bordered on poor, but we sure didn't look like it and had everything we needed.
I remember getting a doll every Christmas, and what I got, my sister got. There were the bride dolls. Mine had blond hair, my little sister's had dark hair, and she proceeded to dunk her doll's head in mud so that it lost all its hair. I still have my doll to this day.
We got bride and groom dolls, baby dolls, Margaret O'Brian dolls, baby buggies, cap pistols in a holster, bandanas to wrap around our necks, jeans, but no boots. One year, we found tiny boxes up in the small Christmas tree that contained little gold lockets. Oh, I loved my locket. Whatever happened to it?
For years, we got packages of panties. Yes, those folded and wrapped tightly in a cellophane package, colored and slick and very pretty. As we got older, we always laughed about the fact we knew one gift we'd receive--a package of new panties.
All through elementary school, we wished for bicycles. We never got those, and I have thought perhaps they were too expensive. But no...it would be difficult to move with two bikes, since everything we owned for all those years had to fit into the trunk of a 1940 Ford for the next move to another oil camp.
In fifth grade, though, we got skates. Remember those old metal skates with a key? I placed my foot on the skate, and used the key to tighten the clamps around the toes of my shoes and the heels. Now, I was mobile, and that began a new life of seeing the world on my skates.
There was a problem with that plan, though. I could only skate on a sidewalk, and the sidewalks invariably did not go very far in small West Texas towns. We had a big space of concrete behind the house where as many as four cars could park--if need be. I skated around and around there, then on the driveway to the front sidewalk. To the right, the sidewalk ended past the house next door. To the left, the sidewalk ended past two houses.
Oh, I loved those skates! Even though I fell sometimes and skinned my knees, I still adored them. I yearned to skate farther and farther, but one can only skate 'til the sidewalk ends. It was frustrating, stifling, even, and sometimes maddening that I could go no farther. I dreamed of soaring along a very long sidewalk, maybe across town! It was never to be.
Maybe if we got everything we ever wanted, our yearnings and desires would diminish. Then we would stagnate, stop growing and learning, and become soft and lazy. And dull.
Merry Christmas to all!